Celebrating the Stimulus?

We are now five years into the passage of the heralded stimulus bill that was supposed to end all our economic woes. Is it time to celebrate yet?


This whole “have-the-government-spend-more-money-and-prosperity-will-result” approach is nothing more than resurrected Keynesian theory. John Maynard Keynes was the economist who became the darling of those who sought to prime the pump of the economy by government expenditure. Richard Nixon, who at one point decided to impose wage-and-price controls on the private sector to resuscitate the economy, remarked that even he had become a Keynesian in economics. It was all the rage at one time.

Barack Obama has done his best to make it popular once again. Yet there is one important economics lesson he has missed: government can only spend what it takes away from those in the private sector, and when it does that, there is less to go around in that sector, thereby hurting the economy in the long run. Yes, some government jobs may be created via a stimulus, but they will be temporary and will contribute next to nothing to economic vitality.

Even though the unemployment figure has seemed to come down, it masks a terrible reality: we have seen the number of people in the job market drop precipitously; people are giving up on finding work and becoming more dependent on government for sustenance than ever before. One must ask, though, if that isn’t the goal of this administration anyway—after all, the Obama philosophy is the exaltation of the welfare state.

So, welcome to the anniversary, but you might have to remind people what we are celebrating.


And what has been the overall effect of this spending spree for the long term?

Bigger Size

And what about the promises of what Obamacare would do for us all?

Close Call

I can imagine a scenario where the CBO itself may come under scrutiny:

Visit from IRS

Don’t laugh. Under this administration, anything is possible.

Another Royal Decree

While it would be nice to turn to a different subject, Obamacare made news again yesterday. The president, apparently from his royal seat in the White House Throne Room, declared that the employer mandate for companies between 50 and 100 employees would now be delayed through 2015. I’ve lost count of the number of alterations to this “law” that Obama has made simply by royal fiat. As much as I’m opposed to the law, I’m equally opposed to the capricious, unlawful manner in which any law can be set aside. Using the same approach, what would stop a future Republican president from deciding to postpone this law until . . . oh, how about the year 3000?

First, just the fact that the president feels the need to continue to revise key aspects of Obamacare, should be a slap-in-the-face wake-up call to those who somehow keep the faith with this man and his “vision” for the country. If something is this flawed to begin with, how flawed is the philosophy behind it and the man who promotes the philosophy? What does it take for people to realize how truly awful and unworkable this is?

Disappointing Result

And of course this comes right on the heels of the CBO report I wrote about yesterday that predicts Obamacare will add to its string of victims by encouraging the loss of 2.3 million full-time jobs.

Return the Favor

If enough voters come to that conclusion, we eventually may get a reprieve from this foolishness and outright destruction of not only our healthcare system, but our economy as well.

Obamacare: Killing the Workforce & the Work Ethic

When the CBO report came out last week, tripling its previous estimate of potential job losses via Obamacare, the number should have been shocking to everyone. Whenever a policy strips 2.3 million people from the full-time job market, one might expect concern on both ends of the political spectrum. Not so.

Instead, we have the spectacle of Democrats defending the loss of jobs by saying it’s a good thing that people won’t be locked in to their jobs—that they will have free time to do other things instead. That’s great. I like doing other things, too. But paying the bills is kind of important, isn’t it?

Liberation from Work

And what about the nation’s work ethic? When do subsidies get to the point that we undermine even the will to work?

Won't Work

No matter how you try to dress up this pig called Obamacare, it’s still a pig [I apologize ahead of time to those in the pig-loving community]. The economics of it just don’t make sense:

Economic Footprint

In an attempt to fix something that didn’t need a massive overhaul in the first place, we’ve created an even greater problem. It’s as if this administration went out of its way to kill any hope of a genuine recovery:

Run Over Jobs

Some of us already were concerned about the death panels for individuals. Now that concern has enlarged its scope:

US Workforce

There is nothing good about Obamacare. It needs to be the object of a death panel.

Income Inequality, Faulty Reasoning, & Bad Policy

Barack ObamaWe’re hearing a lot of talk again lately about income inequality. President Obama, in what I believe is an attempt to take the focus off the failure of his signature healthcare law, has come out swinging against those who succeed too much. The impression he wishes to leave is that the reason some are doing poorly is because others are too successful.

This is an old ploy. It goes back to Karl Marx, at least, who theorized that the rich would get richer and the poor get poorer over time, with the rich achieving their high status on the backs of the poor. Marx, by the way, was a terrible prognosticator. He predicted all wealth would end up in the hands of a few, that the workers’ situation would get worse, and then there would be an uprising of workers to throw off the capitalists. In fact, entrepreneurship thrived, with small businesses doing most of the hiring yet today; workers’ standard of living steadily rose through the decades, and no mass uprising occurred. He was flat-out wrong. It’s amazing he still gets any favorable press.

Others took up the same theme, while not as starkly. The New Deal of the 1930s and the Great Society programs of the 1960s were extensions of the idea that the government had to step in to provide enough to ensure success for everyone. Think about that: what happens to the definition of success when you don’t allow failure? Well, no need to worry; the War on Poverty has been a complete bust, at least for the poor:

Improving Lives

Good intentions are not enough. Good policy must follow in the wake of those intentions. When all you do is trap people in welfare dependency, what have you really done to help them? You can count on one thing, though, if you criticize the welfare state: you will be accused of not caring for the poor. You will be be labeled as hardhearted and callous:

Really Mean

And don’t mention the national debt; we’re not supposed to notice it has ballooned more in the Obama administration than in all other administrations combined. Neither are we supposed to bring up the embarrassing fact that on Obama’s watch, that income inequality he says he’s so concerned about has gotten worse. Could it be the fault of his policies? No, of course not; he’s not to blame for anything.

Bottom line: Obama operates with a faulty economic vision that sees our economy as a pie that has to be cut and distributed properly. His “pie” is static, never growing. The reality, if he would humble himself enough to recognize it, is that an economy is a dynamic thing that can grow and benefit everyone at all income levels. But to ensure that happens, policies need to allow growth without penalizing those who are the engineers of that growth.

President Obama either doesn’t believe that or he has an unstated goal of suppressing real growth as an excuse for more government control. Either way, his path forward is full of pitfalls and speed bumps. We’ll never turn the corner to genuine prosperity again until he and his cronies are no longer calling the shots.

The Redistributionist President

Barack Obama was in full socialistic, redistributionist mode yesterday. At a speech before an audience at the “progressive” Center for American Progress, he called income inequality a “defining challenge” for the U.S. Memories of his comments to Joe the Plumber flood the mind. First of all, one must ignore the fact that income inequality has only increased on his watch; so if that’s what he calls a defining challenge, he’s obviously failed at meeting it.

For someone like Obama, it is a fundamental tenet that some people just have too much, and it’s the government’s job to take from the wealthy and give to those further down the economic ladder. This recalls comments he made back in 2010, when he argued, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” Well, is it his responsibility to determine who has reached that point, if indeed such a point exists? There are some rich people I would like to see making even more money because they use it to promote the Gospel. Should the government step in and stop them? Let’s go back to a basic Scriptural principle—it’s not money that’s evil, but the love of money that leads us astray.

The president’s speech yesterday was full of all the progressive buzzwords and hobby horses: education spending; collective bargaining; minimum wage; Social Security; Medicare; and of course the omnipresent Obamacare. The progressive vision of how to create prosperity for all is for the government to shift the wealth around and get more of the wealth for itself so it can help us spend our way into prosperity. If that sounds a trifle contradictory to you, it only means you can think clearly:

Buck Would Stop Here

And don’t expect this administration to be honest about how its policies are working. We now know they fudged the unemployment numbers right before the 2012 election to make it appear things were rosier than everyone thought they were:

Fabricated Lie

Trust is not the hallmark of this White House. Honesty and transparency are in short supply. Why should we ever believe anything that emanates from that source? And given the progressive ideology that dominates, why would we want to give them even more funds to carry out their income inequality project?

Obama began his term of office with a national debt of $9 trillion; it’s now more than $17 trillion. How’s that spending-our-way-into-prosperity approach working out?

The Obamacare Woes

The Obamacare website failure is probably one of the biggest government fiascos of all time, and that’s saying a lot if you know about the fiascos of the past, primarily on the progressive/liberal side of politics. Those who are on the president’s side, and who never seem to think he should be held accountable for anything, are having a tough time navigating through this current trouble. Maybe you’ve noticed how cranky some of them have become:


One way around this may be to spin it as a positive:

It's a Feature

That should remind us that the poorly constructed website is only the surface problem. The real problems with Obamacare go much deeper. Those of us who don’t want it ever to see the light of day shouldn’t focus entirely on the technical glitches, but continue to educate the public on how many people are losing their current healthcare plans and how they will be paying far more on those Obamacare exchanges.

Woman Faints

This joke of a website can help by delaying Obamacare’s implementation. Perhaps we should applaud the team that created it:

Website Contractors

As always, the president is not to blame for any of this—just like he has no blame for the moribund economy, the Benghazi coverup, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the selling of guns to Mexican drug lords, the Justice Department’s bugging of reporters, or the massive NSA intelligence-gathering on American citizens.

Buck Stops Here

Obamacare may be on life support. This is one time I would approve pulling the plug:

Losing Him

There still may be hope that this monster will expire.

The New Economic Reality

Now that the Syria issue has been resolved—I mean, what could go wrong with Russia and the UN now involved?—perhaps we should turn our attention back to other matters. Congress is planning more hearings on the scandals that plague this administration; Benghazi is making a comeback, as well it should. Obamacare is rumored to begin running in October with the inauguration of state exchanges. Never mind that hardly any state is prepared for this and that the law is falling apart on its own. The push to defund this monstrosity is gaining ground.

Then there’s the economy, which the administration continues to try to spin as a “recovery.” Look at the numbers, they say—the unemployment rate is now down to 7.3%. Yes, let’s look at those numbers, carefully. What they would like to hide—and the media provides them the cover they need—is that the only reason the unemployment rate is dropping is because more people than ever have given up seeking a job and are no longer counted as part of the workforce. Our labor market is now at the lowest ebb since the Carter years. Do we really want to repeat that history?

Jobless Rate Fell

If the labor market were at the same level as when Obama took office, the umemployment rate would stand closer to 11% right now. But wait, there’s more.

What they—the administration and the media—also want to hide is that the majority of jobs being created are now part-time. A major factor in this is the threat of that looming Obamacare. Employers, seeing economic armageddon for themselves in the Obamacare requirements, are reducing the number of full-time workers to a minimum. The traditional job market, in which a person enters with a lower-rung, part-time job and works his way up to full-time, is now turned on its head:

Employment Cycle

This has become the new reality, and it’s not pretty. There’s only one way out of this:

 Turn Right

But that’s going to be up to the voters. Have they learned their lesson?